Miami Beach - South beach

Ranging from Scarface to the Jersey Shore, Miami Beach has been featured in several shows and motion pictures and for good reason. This town has something for every member of the family: avant-garde museums, sandy beaches, great restaurants and much more. Here are some tips to save money in Miami Beach, FL.

Save Money at Restaurants: Avoid Eating in Ocean Drive

While the iconic Ocean Drive may be one of the most popular places in Miami Beach, it is full of overpriced restaurants and eateries. One of the easiest ways to save money in this city is to avoid eating at the restaurants on Ocean Drive such as Mango’s Tropical Café, Café Milano and News Café.

Within walking distance from Ocean Drive you can find several better and much economical options on Washington Avenue and Collins Avenue.

Miami Beach, Ocean Drive, Washington Ave.
Image by greenchartreuse

For example, if you are looking for a great sushi place, try Sushi Rock Café on 1351 Collins Avenue, just 2 blocks away from the corner of Ocean Drive and 14th street. Across from Sushi Rock Café you can find the Café De Arts, which is a great place for affordable breakfasts with big portions.

Those looking for a wide variety of NY style deli sandwiches and burgers should head to 1450 Collins Avenue for Jerry’s Famous Deli, which is not only open late but also is family-friendly.

A great place for sandwiches and smoothies at any time of the day is La Sandwicherie (229 14th Street, next to Tattoos By Lou III). La Sandwicherie offers delivery service within Miami Beach.

If you would like to splurge one night, head to the restaurants on either Espanola Way or Lincoln Road. You will get more bang out of your buck than by eating at Ocean Drive. At 900 Lincoln Road, you will find Pashas Restaurant Inc., which specializes in Mediterranean food and is a favorite of locals.

Just a block south from Pashas, you can find the Da Leo Trattoria, which specializes in dishes from the Italian cuisine.

Save Money by Visiting Free Attractions

One of the great things about Miami Beach is that there is a lot of things to do that do not have an admission ticket. If you happen to visit during the weekend, make sure to visit Espanola Way on Sundays as local merchants and store owners improvise a street market, where you can find handmade crafts, souvenirs, clothing and art works. There are also performances from street musicians and dancers.

Miami Beach Florida
Image by AshtonColeman

While Ocean Drive is not a recommended place to eat, it is definitely a recommended place for spending the day. All of Ocean Drive has a beautiful beach front. Beach access is free and you are allowed to bring your own chairs, coolers and items to the beach.

While there are some umbrellas and seats available around certain areas of the beach, remember that you will need to pay a fee if you want to use them. You can bring your own food and drinks, but no alcohol drinks are allowed on the beach. There is a trail that extends all the way from 5th Street to 14th Street, in which you can jog, bike or rollerblade.

If you are travelling with young children, keep in mind that South Beach does allow topless sunbathing.

When visiting Ocean Drive, you can also visit the Art Deco Welcome Center, which provides free information and tours about the art deco movement in Miami Beach. The Miami Design Preservation League managers the Art Deco Welcome Center and this organization will provide you with useful tips on what to do in Miami Beach at no cost.

The main event that celebrates the art deco history of Miami Beach happens every year and is called the Art Deco Weekend. Make sure to check the date of the Art Deco Weekend because it is a great time to visit the city and there will be plenty of free cool things to do as Ocean Drive becomes a pedestrian zone only and over 300,000 guests gather.

Bonus Tip: Get a Hostelling International Membership

The Hostelling International network is very active in Miami Beach and you will find several restaurants, attractions and shops that have the Hostelling International sticker on their windows. This network has memberships available for people of any age, but the ones that provide the greatest savings are: the under 18 years of age group and the 18-54 years of age group.

While there are no participating hostels in Miami Beach, you will have access to discounts in several business around the city.

Damian Davila, the author of “How to save money at Miami Beach, FL” is a social media and internet news blogger at Follow him on Twitter at @idaconcpts.